Emmy nominations honor end of 'Mad Men,' debut of 'Transparent'

Thu Jul 16, 2015 5:00pm EDT
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By Mary Milliken and Piya Sinha-Roy

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - The final season of AMC's advertising drama "Mad Men," Netflix's political thriller "House of Cards," and Amazon's new transgender comedy "Transparent" garnered 11 nominations each on Thursday for the 67th Emmy Awards, the highest honors in television.

In a highly competitive year with no shortage of new shows and diverse faces on the small screen, premium cable channel HBO extended its long reign atop all networks, with 126 nominations. Its popular medieval fantasy "Game of Thrones" scored an astonishing 24 nods but faces another tough year to win a top award.

"Mad Men," which chronicled the advertising world and shifts in American society during the 1960s through its main character, Don Draper, ended its eight-year run this year and is likely to be a favorite to win its fifth award for outstanding drama series, the top Emmy.

Jon Hamm earned his eighth nomination for his dark portrayal of Draper, but has never won. He will vie for best actor in a drama against Kevin Spacey, who plays the diabolical politician Frank Underwood in "House of Cards."

AMC will no doubt be lobbying hard for "Mad Men" and Hamm to replicate last year's farewell wins for its drama "Breaking Bad" and star Bryan Cranston. Meanwhile, the "Breaking Bad" prequel, "Better Call Saul," grabbed seven nominations, including best drama.

"Transparent" is the top new series among nominees, after having won critical acclaim and Golden Globes for its comical and human portrayal of a family patriarch who transitions to life as a woman. The role is played by Jeffrey Tambor, who will be a favorite to win best actor in a comedy series.

"Transparent" put Amazon Inc on the television map last year and helped the online retailer earn 12 nominations, its first ever. With uncanny timing, the comedy also plugged into one of the big civil rights themes of modern-day America, the rights of transgender persons.

Netflix Inc, the online streaming service that has paved the way for digital platforms, garnered 34 nominations, including seven for the new quirky comedy "Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt" and four for "Orange Is The New Black," competing this year for best drama instead of comedy.   Continued...

Cast member Jon Hamm (L) and show creator Matthew Weiner attend the "Mad Men: Live Read & Series Finale" held in Los Angeles May 17, 2015. REUTERS/Phil McCarten